Mom and Dad are visiting from Massachusetts, so I'm not going to have time to do the full version of the tasting notes, if experience is any guiide. So here are the Reader's Digest notes of the first batch:
2004 Verget VIRÉ -CLESSÉ “Vieilles Vignes de Roally” (Burgundy, France) -- a terrifically rich, dry, ripe, minmerally Maconnais Chardonnay with poire William and melon-scented fruit. Loaded with character, and soft as a summer breeze. Great.
2006 Luzon (Jumila, Spain) -- a great value ($8 and change) in a Monastrell/Syrah . Ripe, rich, full, balanced.
2001 Guigal CHATEAUNEUF DU PAPE (Rhone Valley, France) -- At its peak, this was a very elegantly-textured wine, with classic Provencal scents of smoky herbs from the garrigue, and iron-y cassis/blackberry fruit.
2005 Rene Barth RIESLING “Vignoble de Bennwihr” (Alsace, France) -- A classically austere style of Alsace Riesling: lots of pungent, stony minerality and lemon-lime fruit. Crisp and bone dry.
2005 Tenuta la Cipressaia CHIANTI COLLI FIORENTINI (Tuscany, Italy) -- A medium-bodied, tight but food-friendly Sangiovese, with crisp cherry mineral flavors and and some tannin in the finish.